VANCOUVER (CBSLA.com) — On the heels of Cecil the Lion’s death, a popular Anaheim Ducks player is now the center of a similar controversy.
Defenseman Clayton Stoner is facing charges of hunting without a license, hunting out of season, and unlawful possession of a dead wildlife animal, just to name a few.
He is to appear in court in Vancouver on Oct. 9, the day before the Ducks open the season and three days before his team plays the Vancouver Canucks in Anaheim.
Here is the picture, taken in 2013, of Stoner proudly holding the head of a dead grizzly bear.
— The Vancouver Sun (@VancouverSun) September 17, 2015
All of this comes in relation to the shooting of a bear near Bella Bella in British Columbia.
Stoner has never denied the hunt, which drew attention when a picture showed him holding the severed head of a grizzly. He said he had the necessary permits and licenses.
Supporters of Stoner are quick to point out that it is in fact legal to hunt bears, but because his residency was not established in the area, it was not legal for him to do so.
However, the majority of the reaction was very negative.
Apparently Clayton Stoner compensates for his lack of scoring on-ice with “scoring” by Trophy Hunting. #LOSER
— Jackie Patton (@jackieepatton) September 17, 2015
Canadian celebrities weighed in on the story at the red carpet premiere of the documentary called, “Being Canadien” tonight.
“I’m against him and I don’t even know him,” said actor David Steinberg.
Film director Ted Kotcheff also weighed in, saying, “I find it a really stupid action to do. It’s like that guy who went to Africa and killed that beautiful lion.”
We did try to reach out to Stoner at his home but we were told to go away.
The Ducks say they have no comment but that they expect Stoner to be in attendence when training camp opens tomorrow, on Sept. 18th, in Orange County.